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The Sloatsburg Chamber of Commerce Reboots to Provide Support to Businesses and Become a Vital Community Voice

Posted on 03 November 2017 by Editor

The Sloatsburg Chamber of Commerce has invited the community to Valley Rock Inn the first Sunday afternoon of November, where its hosts the 1st annual chamber Block Party. The party is a celebration of the area’s business community and the many revitalization efforts underway that have energized the community, such as Valley Rock Inn.

With some 30 businesses set to participate, Sloatsburg’s Chamber reboot is appears successful underway (the organization already has nearly 45 new members signed up). The local community is not only invited to the November 5 Block Party, but the event is free and open to the public and meant to connect the family, friends and neighbors who make up the local business scene.

When Timing is Everything

The renovated building along Route 17 in Sloatsburg that helped kick off Sloatsburg’s downtown revitalization effort — the building now houses Rococo’s Salon and Barbara Berntsen’s & Nicole’s Scanlon’s America Drywall business.

There was a time when a freshly painted building facade or new sign street meant progress and hope for Sloatsburg’s village center corridor. A few years ago, longtime resident and business owner Barbara Berntsen provided both of those things with the renovation of her perfectly poised building along Route 17.

With Rococo’s Salon anchoring the front and Berntsen and daughter/partner Nicole Scanlon housed in their American Drywall company offices in the back, the property has helped along revitalization efforts in Sloatsburg’s village center.

Between the many sole proprietors living in and around Sloatsburg, small businesses that don’t have storefronts, and the storefront businesses along Route 17, local resident and businesswoman Barbara Berntsen envisions a thriving organization that can be an energized voice for the local community.

Barbara Berntsen, a local business woman and former Village Trustee, has worked to reboot the Sloatsburg Chamber of Commerce. Berntsen also serves as President of the Friends of Harmony Hall and is active with the Sloatsburg Revitalization Committee (she also served as a past chair of the committee).

Sunday’s big tent Sloatsburg Chamber of Commerce reboot Block Party will be another revitalization milestone for Berntsen, who’s been quietly working on any number. Timing is a key ingredient to any venture, and Berntsen believes the conditions are right for Sloatsburg’s chamber  to get quickly established and contribute to the community. Between the many sole proprietors living in and around Sloatsburg, those small businesses (not to mention artists of all sorts) that don’t have storefronts, and the storefront businesses along the Route 17 corridor, Berntsen envisions a thriving organization that can give voice to many and energize the local community.

The Sloatsburg Chamber of Commerce was created in 1988 but has been inactive as an organization for some years — though through the quiet efforts of founding member and Village Clerk/Treasurer Thomas Bollatto, the SCC has continued to sponsor the annual Sloatsburg Elementary School 5th grade essay contest and prize, “What Sloatsburg Means to Me.”

Lauren Hayward of Hayward’s Deli & Market and Rococo’s Susie McEnery McDonagh have also been instrumental in working with Berntsen to reboot the SCC. Berntsen’s daughter Nicole is also part of the team — there are many helping hands.

Valley Rock Inn developer Michael Bruno has also provided a guidance, material support and leadership. He stated in a letter sent out to the Valley Rock Inn mailing list that he believes the chamber can be an important vehicle to help transform Sloatsburg into “a true one-of-a-kind destination” that can help attract new businesses and new visitors to the surrounding area.

Set in the woody Ramapo Mountains at the foot of Torne Mountain and southern Harriman State Park, Sloatsburg is a well located semi-rural village that also appears to be well attuned to its many assets.

The Sloatsburg Chamber looks to become of them. It’s never too early to join. After Sunday’s Block Party, chamber members will convene to discuss next steps, slate leadership candidates and continue to connect local businesses to the community at large.

So, if you’re a small business owner, individual, group, or part of a community organization and want to contribute to the voice of the Sloatsburg business community, become a member. The Sloatsburg Chamber is just getting started.

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6:00 pm Sloatsburg Food Pantry Fundraiser @ St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
Sloatsburg Food Pantry Fundraiser @ St. Mary's-in-Tuxedo
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